The Presidential Daily Brief


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    One Dead After Jet Engine Fails

    A passenger was killed today after a Southwest Airlines plane experienced engine failure mid-flight and was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia. The Boeing 737 was flying from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Dallas when, according to an eyewitness, its left engine exploded and sent shrapnel flying through the window. “There was blood everywhere,” one passenger said. Authorities are still investigating the accident, in which seven others were injured, and footage from shortly after the emergency landing showed fire crews tending to the heavily-damaged engine.

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    Barbara Bush Dies at 92

    The former first lady was wife of 41st President George H.W. Bush and mother to 43rd President George W. Bush. On Sunday it was announced she had stopped further medical care. She was largely admired during her time in Washington for her seeming candor and lack of pretensions while sporting fake pearls and white hair. And she was publicly critical of President Trump’s statements toward women during his presidential run against her son Jeb Bush. During her life she had been a proponent of adult literacy programs and authored several books. 

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    Inspectors Gain Access to Syrian Chemical Attack Site

    After five days of delay, experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will be allowed to inspect the site of an alleged gas attack in Douma, where scores of civilians were killed. Russia and the Syrian government resisted the inspection, citing “pending security issues,” while U.S. officials say they’re worried about evidence tampering. Meanwhile, the U.S. is seeking to bring together troops from various Arab nations that could replace the American forces President Donald Trump hopes to withdraw from Syria in the next few months.

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    Sean Hannity Named as Client of Trump’s Lawyer

    Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal attorney and fixer who is under federal investigation, had resisted disclosing the name of a mysterious client, but yesterday was ordered in court to reveal that it was the conservative Fox News host. Hannity denied paying for Cohen’s services and said he thought their “brief conversations” were confidential. The president has requested that he should personally decide which materials seized from Cohen’s office are protected by attorney-client privilege, but the judge has signaled she may appoint an outside attorney to review them instead.

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    UK Apologizes for Deportations of Commonwealth Immigrants

    The so-called “Windrush generation,” named for a ship that brought immigrants from the West Indies to Britain after WWII, were granted residence in the U.K. in 1971. But a lack of record-keeping on the government’s part has led many who arrived legally as children to be fired from jobs, refused health care and put in immigration detention. Home Secretary Amber Rudd offered an unprecedented apology, saying they’re still determining if anyone was wrongly deported, while Prime Minister Theresa May will meet with Caribbean leaders on the issue today.

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    Facebook Faces Class-Action Suit Over Faces

    It could lose more than face. A U.S. federal judge ruled yesterday that the company unlawfully collected biometric data for a feature that suggests users to tag in photos. The feature isn’t available everywhere and can be turned off, but it stores affected users’ facial templates, which violates an Illinois law protecting personal data. While Facebook, already embattled over its handling of user data in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, says the case has no merit, the judge estimated a class action suit of Illinois users could cost the company billions.

  7. Sales Tax, Cancer Treatment and Deadly Air

    Know This: The Supreme Court is hearing a case on sales tax across state lines that could potentially see e-commerce customers paying far more for purchases. A new study has shown that immunotherapy, combined with chemotherapy, gives lung cancer patients a greater chance of survival. And prosecutors in Singapore have discovered a 2016 plot to cheat on academic exams in which teenagers wore skin-colored earpieces to listen to answers.

    Remember This Number: 95 percent. That’s the proportion of the world’s population breathing dangerously polluted air, according to a report from the Health Effects Institute.

    Love OZY? OZY has been nominated for a Webby Award — and you could help us win! Cast your vote for the hit inspirational video series “Life, Interrupted” today at


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    Teens in Kansas Are Running for Governor

    They’re growing up fast. Since the Sunflower State has no minimum age to run for its top office, a handful of teens are joining the race this year. Fueled by discontent with the establishment, they’re pushing healthy bipartisanship and aiming to get their fellow youngsters interested in constructive politics. State party officials have mixed feelings about these self-styled candidates — and sometimes just joining debates has proven problematic. And while some wonder whether it’s just a ploy to boost college applications, others believe real change begins with the youth.

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    One Leading Economist Says Governments Can’t Spend Enough

    Modern Monetary Theory, a controversial economic idea, posits that governments can’t run out of money — they print it — and should spend their way out of problems, accompanied by strategic tax policy. One of MMT’s most public faces is Stephanie Kelton, who served as Sen. Bernie Sanders’ chief economist during his presidential run. She’s worked to push the theory into the mainstream, and while her base is the activist left, the populist right is taking notice — as are conventional economists, who warn that MMT promotes dangerous economic instability.

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    Scientists Isolate Enzyme That Eats Plastic

    University of Portsmouth researchers have enlisted new dumpster divers in the fight against mounting trash: Bacteria that break down plastic. The organisms, discovered at a Japanese recycling center, are theorized to have evolved fairly recently. After biologists isolated and tweaked their trash-eating enzyme — named PETase for its ability to decompose PET plastic used in bottles and other packaging — they were able to increase its recycling ability. Although PETase must be made much more powerful, researchers hope it can eventually be used to eat up some of Earth’s discarded plastic.

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    Kendrick Lamar Wins Pulitzer Prize for Music

    There’s both rhyme and reason. Yesterday, the LA native became the first rapper to win the prestigious award for his critically acclaimed album, DAMN. Lamar’s 2017 release — which also snagged a Grammy for best rap album — was described as a “virtuosic” collection of songs, and many applauded the prize committee for branching out beyond classical and jazz artists. Other winners include The Washington Post for reporting on Senate candidate Roy Moore, and a joint prize to The New Yorker and The New York Times for investigations into Harvey Weinstein.

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    American Woman, Japanese Man Win Boston Marathon

    A field of 30,000 competed in the race, battling wet, cold conditions — but Desiree Linden, with a time of 2:39:54, took the women’s title despite stopping to help a fellow runner. She’s the first American woman to win since 1985. It was the first major marathon triumph for the two-time Olympian, who lost by two seconds in 2011. Meanwhile, Yuki Kawauchi snagged the men’s title, the first Japanese winner since 1987. “This is the greatest day of my life,” he told reporters. “This is the greatest race in the world.”